Introducing the GENDER.ED Steering Group – Claire Duncanson

Claire Duncanson

This post is part of a series of short profiles of GENDER.ED Steering Group members, on the occasion of the launch of our new website.

Dr Claire Duncanson is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. She is currently working as a researcher on a project called The Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace. This project is based on the premise that sustaining peace and security requires addressing the inequalities, marginalizations and exclusions that underlie armed conflicts. Current peacemaking and peacebuilding practices too often leave these inequalities untouched, or even deepen them. And current economic recovery paradigms largely rely on extractive, rather than sustainable forms of development. The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, although crucial in highlighting the importance of women’s participation in peace processes and security decision-making, itself needs broadening and deepening if it is to meet the goal of creating gender equitable, sustainable peace.

This is because in the aftermath of even the most socially inclusive peace processes, a series of predictable, transnational processes and dynamics are set in motion which have the effect of undermining the gains and goals of the WPS agenda, many other progressive aspects of peace agreements, and the durability of peace itself.  Thus, for the WPS project to be a truly potent tool in building sustainable peace, it requires:

  • Forward-looking expert knowledge of post-war transnational political-economic processes and dynamics
  • Analysis of ways in which they impact gender relations and other structural inequalities
  • Recommendations for how to engage and modify those processes in ways more supportive of the societal transformations critical to building sustainable peace 

That knowledge and analysis, along with policy recommendations useful to a full range of actors, from multilateral organizations and national governments to civil society organizations and activists, is what the Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace will provide.

Claire is not teaching very much in 2020/2021 as a result of focusing on this project, but she hopes to get back to teaching her course on Gender, Peace and Security in future years.

The study of gender and sexualities is important because, as Cynthia Enloe puts it, gender makes the world go round! Whether it’s women’s labour, powerful models of masculinity, or ideas about appropriate femininity, so much of what happens in the world depends on things that are hidden, obscured, or taken for granted. It’s important to study gender, sexualities, race and other structures of power in order to understand the way the world works.

Claire’s recommendation’s for students curious about the study of gender and sexualities:

  • Cohn, Carol. “Sex and death in the rational world of defense intellectuals.” Signs: Journal of women in culture and society4 (1987): 687-718.
  • Cynthia Enloe, Bananas Beaches Bases
  • Revisiting Gendered States: Feminist Imaginings of the State in International Relations, Edited by Swati Parashar, J. Ann Tickner, Jacqui True, and Preface by V. Spike Peterson